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    Seven Perks Leading Tech Employers Use to Retain Talent

    Hiring in-demand technology professionals is only half the battle for employers. Retaining them for the long term is the other, and that can be an even more difficult challenge. To create a work environment that’s satisfying and enhances productivity – and to stand apart from competitors – many tech firms are offering creative incentives, along with generous compensation packages. In fact, many companies now share extensive details about employee perks on their websites.

    Here’s just a sample of some benefits innovative technology firms are offering to their staff, as identified by Robert Half Technology.

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    Click through for seven perks leading tech employers are using to help retain top talent, as identified by Robert Half Technology.

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    Free or low-cost healthy meals and snacks were “wow factor” perks in the dot-com boom of the 1990s. Now, many workers expect their employers to provide them with access to nutritious sustenance during the workday. To meet this demand, software company SAS, in Cary, N.C., has established a one-acre sustainable farm – known as The Culinary Farm – that supplies fresh produce featured on the menus at all four of its employee cafeterias.

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    Technology is always evolving, so keeping skills and knowledge up-to-date is essential for IT professionals. Many employers today offer at least partial reimbursement for professional development and educational opportunities for their workers. Mountain View, Calif.-based soft­ware company Intuit is particularly generous in this regard: It gives its employees up to $5,000 per year for continuing education.

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    Many professionals today, particularly members of Generation Y, want to work for an employer that’s environmentally responsible. Since 2004, data management firm Integrated Archive Systems in Palo Alto, Calif., a provider of green corporate IT services, has been helping its team members commute to work in a more earth-friendly way. It offers full-time workers who’ve been employed at the firm for at least a year a $10,000 subsidy to purchase a hybrid vehicle.

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    Balancing work and family demands is always tricky for busy professionals – especially when a new baby is involved. Internet companies Yahoo! and Google offer their employees extended (and paid) maternity and paternity leave, and even provide small cash bonuses that can be used for child care, baby supplies and groceries. Social networking firm Facebook has similar family-leave policies and offers its workers up to $4,000 of “baby cash.”

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    Technology professionals know all too well that hours spent in front of the computer, sitting in long IT strategy meetings or running around the office putting out fires can be physically draining. Networking company Cisco Systems, Inc., of San Jose, Calif., helps support its workers’ well-being by providing on-site access to services ranging from chiropractic care to acupuncture to health coaching at its LifeConnections Health Center & Pharmacy.

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    Few technology professionals have enough time to clean their inboxes at work, let alone vacuum or dust at home. To free its employees from trying to keep their homes tidy while staying on top of work demands, Redwood City, Calif.-based software maker Evernote Corp. picks up the tab for a twice-monthly housecleaning service.

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    Many professionals want to travel to distant lands and only wish they could find the resources and time to do so. Through its CultureSpring program, software firm LoadSpring Solutions, Inc., of Wilmington, Mass., helps employees who have been with the company for at least two years see the world. It offers a $6,000 stipend and a bonus week of vacation.

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